Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

Knowledge. Insight. Action.

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is led by the University of Victoria in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia. Since it began in 2008, PICS has launched a number of programs and activities that involve UBC faculty, students, research and activities.

PICS Objectives and Programs

PICS was officially established in March 2008 through an endowment from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. PICS partners with governments, the private sector, other researchers and citizens to undertake research on climate change impacts and to assess, develop and promote mitigation and adaptation solutions. Its main objectives include:

  • Understanding the magnitude and patterns of climate change and its impacts;
  • Evaluating the physical, economic and social implications of climate change;
  • Assessing mitigation and adaptation options and developing policy and business solutions;
  • Evaluating and strengthening educational and capacity-building strategies to address climate change; and 
  • Communicating climate change issues to government, industry and the general public.

To achieve these objectives, PICS carries out research, education and outreach programs:

Check out PICS at to learn more about its research and publications and what’s to come at events, or the recorded climate change talks on its archives.

What's Happening at UBC

PICS has invested more than $3.2 million in UBC faculty-led projects, graduate student scholarships, internships and events. PICS has an extensive list of publications, including white papers, journal articles, theses, and conference proceedings, many of which include UBC faculty as lead authors. 

PICS Program Committee

The PICS program committee provides advice on the Institute's research and activities. Chaired by PICS Director, Dr. Tom Pedersen, the 11-member committee is comprised of representatives from each of the collaborating universities alongside the BC and federal government. Currently, two UBC faculty members sit on the committee:

Walter Merida, Director, Clean Energy Research Centre and Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UBC 

Stephen Sheppard, Director of Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning and Professor, Department of Forest Resources Management and School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, UBC

PICS UBC Program Manager

Sara Muir-Owen is the PICS UBC Program Manager. She works closely with the PICS main office at UVic to manage research, fellowships, partnerships and events at UBC and throughout Metro Vancouver. Contact Sara with your PICS related questions at or by phone at 604-822-4644.